Olivia Locher

19 year old Olivia Locher  sent me images from her new series Shrines. Shrines is a collection of brooding mystery, turned backs and séance-like atmosphere. - Keba Robinson

Keba: When is your birthday? 
Olivia Locher: December 20, 1990

K: How did you get into photography?  

OL: I made snapshots throughout high school of my friends and things I found interesting. I got serious with my craft late in 2007 whenI received a Fed Ex delivery containing a Nikkormat ft2 and several lenses, sent from a stranger who was a follower of my blog-life. I have been taking photographs since.

K: Have you always been into creativity? 
OL: My older brother Brandon is a very eccentric individual, performer, and artist.  I have always been surrounded by creativity but I just started exploring it on my own a few years ago.

K: Are there any other forms of art that you have been meaning to experiment with?

OL: Designing wardrobe for my future projects, and also making films

K: I watched one of your videos on Vimeo....the one with the eggs and the people licking the red stuff off of the chicks face....pretty crazy haha, what inspired the imagery? and do  you think you'll ever do music videos? or make movies? 
OL: That particular video was something my roommate, Vanessa, and I did for one of our class assignments. It was a photography class and neither of us made a film prior to it so it was  interesting. I actually sort of forgot about it; it's funny you brought it up! The imagery was ideas of things I wanted to photograph but instead Vanessa and I filmed them. It was also based off of a performance piece the My Idea of Fun Artist Collective from Johnstown [PA] put on celebrating Emmett and Mary's S/T album. I would like to experiment with film a lot more in the future and work on larger projects.

K: Do you have a favorite photographer...or artist? 
OL: Ryan McGinley

K: Film or digital? 

OL: Right now I am shooting all film.

K: What was the idea behind your series 'Shrines'? 
OL: Shrines is a collection of work inspired by dreams I've had and images bouncing around in my head during the day.  For the past year my sleep schedule has been really out of whack and my dreams are outstanding, they consist of mostly just imagery and have a lot of repeated symbols. I feel like a crazy women waking up,  jotting down notes and drawing sketches as fast as I can trying to remember what was inside my head. That's exactly how Shrines came about.  The work is some of the most personal work I have ever made.

K: How did you get those streaks of rainbow in your series 'Dream Journal'? 
OL: My secret self made lens.

K: Do you go into photo shoots with specific shots in mind, or do you just let the situations unravel spontaneously? or both? 
OL: I heavily style, direct, and have a general idea of what I want to accomplish on my photo shoots because most of the time my subjects are only acquaintances of mine and they often come into the situation a bit nervous. A lot of the people I work with have never been photographed in this way so giving them direction helps to break their self consciousness and allows for them to naturally fall into the poses I'm searching for.

K: I was looking through your pictures on your web site...and I noticed that there's a pretty definite contrast between the work you have done this year compared to your work from 08-09...2010 seems to have a lot more dreamy, mysterious imagery...is there a reason for that? 

OL: I think both I and my work have matured.

K: If you could photograph anyone, who would it be? 

OL: There is no certain person, although I’d like to try working with a few professional models.

K: I like your flower tattoo, and the ink tattoo too....any other tattoos that you were thinking of getting? 
OL: I started getting tattoos very young. I got my first one when I turned 14, a friend of mine owned a shop and I begged my mother to let me get one. Currently I have three large tattoos and my dad still does not know about some of them hahaha. For right now I think I'm done getting them but in the future who knows!

K: What's your favorite thing to do in NYC? 
OL: I like leaving my apartment and exploring…. going on adventures.

K: What's your favorite thing about your hometown, Johnstown, PA? OL: The woods! I practically grew up in the woods constantly discovering, it's where I shot all of Shrines and part of Dream Journal. I get extremely homesick when I'm in New York.

K: What's the last show you went to, and how was it?
OL: The last show I attended was an opening reception for my series Clotheslines at the Visual Arts Gallery in Manhattan. The show is running until August 14th.

K: What are you listening to these days?  

OL: Belle and Sebastian, Tom Waits, Paul Simon, The Pixies, David Byrne, Arthur Russell, Scott Walker, and Joni Mitchell.

K: Are you working on any interesting projects at the moment? 

OL: I have been concentrated on finishing, Shrines, and Dream Journal. I am also putting together a book of snapshots and will be starting a new project in NYC within the next week or two.